The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #109916   Message #2301420
Posted By: Gene Burton
30-Mar-08 - 05:16 PM
Thread Name: Our ghastly folk tradition
Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
The question nobody on this thread has addressed thus far is WHY is our music so often represented in such a denigratory manner; ie. what's the causation and where are WE going wrong (and something clearly HAS gone badly wrong; the UK must surely be the only democratic country in the world where the indigenous musical tradition is held in such low regard by the vast majority of the population).

There are no easy answers, and I wouldn't claim to have 'em all. But it won't do to blame it all on media bias; these pundits are after all only (broadly speaking) reflecting the views of their listeners. For what it's worth, I'd suggest we look at three major factors.

1) Are the breaks always going to the right artists? Are we rewarding orthodoxy over originality, virtuosity over passion? If so, is this contributing to a perception that folk music is a little bloated, middle-aged, fussy, lacking in edge?

2) How's the folk scene being run? Is it operating for the benefit of performers, or listeners...or for the benefit of a small self-perpetuating elite? (Please take the trouble to look within before jumping in with a knee-jerk, defensive response...remember, this is EVERYBODY'S music we're talking about).

3) Is there an extent to which some of us actually LIKE being marginalised, being part of an exclusive interest group spurned by the hoi polloi and thus being afforded a certain snob value status...(call it the "only gay in the village" syndrome, if you will)...and consequently not only don't CARE that the music's being ignored but actively encourage it's neglect?

I suggest we need to engage with these issues, ideally constructively and without resort to snideness and personal remarks. Any takers?